Spike Bull 's Link
Crowdstrike, Seth Rich & the DNC Hack Hoax
Date: January 29, 2019
Editor’s note: This is another in-depth article from early 2018 that I never published until today. I was planning to release a book but several other books came out that adequately addressed what I was writing about, thus I felt I was not contributing anything original to the overall discussion. None-the-less people may still find the research to be of interest. It is definitely rough in spots because I never went back through to finesse the manuscript.
Introduction On March 19, 2016 someone accessed the Democratic National Committee’s computer networks and John Podesta’s emails, capturing harmful information about the DNC and Democratic candidates including Hillary Clinton. They also obtained a database of opposition research on then Presidential candidate Donald Trump. The compromise of the DNC server led to an extraordinary series of events unprecedented in American history, including Wikileaks publishing the harmful information on Friday, July 22, 2016 – just three days before the Democratic National convention.
It is difficult to grasp the entire story as there are so many players involved and a multiplicity of moving parts. Additionally, a great deal of historical context that involves other complicated stories must also be understood before the full picture will to begin to emerge. To make matters worse many of the players and key documents hide behind the veil of national security, classification & redaction making it very difficult to ascertain important answers.
Was the DNC server hacked, as the mainstream media and the DNC claim? Or was the information leaked from the inside, as others assert? What is the Steele Dossier aka the Trump-Russia Dossier and where did it come from? Why were the unmatched surveillance powers of the national security state leveraged to spy on candidate Trump and his campaign and under what authority did this happen? Who is former FBI Director Robert Mueller and why was he named Special Counsel to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election? Is there any justification to calls for the ‘Russia collusion’ investigators to themselves be investigated?
This paper will attempt answer these questions and more. Key topics will be addressed one at a time to the extent that this is possible. Then at the end we’ll attempt to weave everything together and form some conclusions.
One – DNC Hack Hoax
As stated above, on March 19, 2016 DNC data were compromised.(1) Suspicious activity was not noticed by DNC IT staff until late April.(2) Once aware of the breach, Democrat IT staff notified DNC CEO Amy Dacey who then contacted DNC Lawyer Michael Sussmann.(3) According to Politico:
“Dacey reached out to DNC lawyer Michael Sussmann, a partner at the Perkins Coie law firm and a former federal prosecutor specializing in cybercrimes. Sussmann called Shawn Henry, the president of cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike, to get his company’s help. Within 24 hours of the first signals that something was amiss, CrowdStrike was brought in to install monitoring software to analyze the details of who was responsible.”(4) “ Around this time the DNC alerted the FBI to the breach although it is unclear exactly when they did so. The FBI requested access to the DNC servers but the DNC did not comply with the request(5), instead opting to have the aforementioned private firm CrowdStrike complete the forensic investigation. This raises two questions: 1) What exactly is CrowdStrike and 2) why did the DNC refuse to turn over the server in question?
CrowdStrike CrowdStrike is a cybersecurity firm founded by former McAfee employees Dmitri Alperovitch and George Kurtz. Dmitri Alperovitch was born in Moscow, U.S.S.R.(6) and is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council(7), an American Think Tank in the field of International Affairs. According to The Washington Times the Atlantic Council is “partially funded by Ukrainian billionaire Victor Pinchuk, who reportedly has donated at least $10 million to the Clinton Foundation.”(8) George Soros has also funded the Atlantic Council.(9) Among CrowdStrike’s investors is Warburg Pincus(10) and the President of Warburg Pincus is Timothy Geithner, who worked for both the Clinton and Obama Administrations – most notably as the 75th Secretary of the Treasury(11). Google is another major investor.(12) Michael Sussmann, the DNC lawyer mentioned above who reached out to Crowdstrike, is a partner at the Perkins Coie law firm. This is important because it was Perkens Coie who hired Fusion GPS, the firm we now know generated the infamous Steele Dossier.(13) It has also now been revealed that Perkens Coie paid Fusion GPS with money from the Clinton campaign and the DNC.(14) These associations in and of themselves do not imply wrong-doing but it is reasonable and fair to ask if potential conflicts of interest exist.
In December of 2016 CrowdStrike falsely claimed that “Russians hacked into a Ukrainian artillery app, resulting in heavy losses of howitzers in Ukraine’s war with Russian-backed separatists.”(15) CrowdStrike used the findings “to buttress its claims of Russian hacking in the presidential election.”(16) The CrowdStrike claim of Russia hacking the Ukrainian artillery app was rigorously disputed by both IISS, the source of the data used in CrowdStrike’s analyses, and the Ukrainian government.(17) IISS disavowed any connection to the CrowdStrike report(18). Yaroslav Sherstyuk, who created the Ukrainian military app in question, called the report ‘delusional’ in a Facebook post.”(19) CrowdStrike updated its report in March 2017, changing key language and walking back previous claims.(20)
Fancy & Cozy In September of 2015 the FBI told the DNC that it at been hacked by “’the Dukes,’ a cyberespionage team linked to the Russian government.”(21) The Dukes also go by the nickname Cozy Bear.(22) For whatever reason the DNC did not immediately act on the information and the FBI did not follow up on its initial warning.(23) At this point we have to stop and ask, why did both the FBI and the DNC both do nothing? Was the threat perceived as not that significant? Were both parties incompetent? Is there a kernel of truth that evolved into the wider Russia collusion narrative?
As previously stated CrowdStrike began to investigate the DNC Server breach toward the end of April and they published their findings on June 15, 2016.(24) They attribute the breach to malware groups known as Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear, stating that:
“Both adversaries engage in extensive political and economic espionage for the benefit of the government of the Russian Federation and are believed to be closely linked to the Russian government’s powerful and highly capable intelligence services.”(25) “ Supporting evidence for these claims lack specificity, leaving the findings open to criticism. Phrases used in the report itself and by those explaining it include tactics and techniques consistent with, fingerprints detected, and pattern recognition.(26) Pattern recognition can include “piecing together hacker groups’ favorite modes of attack, sussing out the time of day they’re most active (hinting at their locations) and finding signs of their native language and the internet addresses they use to send or receive files.”(27) The general public has not been presented with meticulous forensic evidence regarding the alleged Russian hacking of the DNC. Neither CrowdStrike nor U.S. intelligence agencies plan to provide more details to the public.(28) A statement released January 6, 2017 by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence provides an explanation that is typical:
“Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections” is a declassified version of a highly classified assessment that has been provided to the President and to recipients approved by the President. “ • The Intelligence Community rarely can publicly reveal the full extent of its knowledge or the precise bases for its assessments, as the release of such information would reveal sensitive sources or methods and imperil the ability to collect critical foreign intelligence in the future. “
• Thus, while the conclusions in the report are all reflected in the classified assessment, the declassified report does not and cannot include the full supporting information, including specific intelligence and sources and methods.”(29) “
Reacting to the report three days later in The Washington Post, Daniel Drezner notes that “the evidence contained in the report is pretty damn thin.”(30) Drezner refers to the sensitive sources and methods stated above but notes that the problem with the unclassified version of the report is that it lacks the ability to change anyone’s mind.(31) Critics would argue that an all-powerful national security state can easily conceal inner corruption and criminality behind a veil of confidentiality, omissions and secrecy – all in the name of operational sensitivity and ubiquitous national interests.
What is on the Server? As previously mentioned the FBI requested the DNC sever so that it could conduct its own forensic analysis of the breach but the DNC declined to turn over the equipment. As reported by The Hill on January 10, 2017:
“The bureau made ‘multiple requests at different levels,’ according to [FBI Director James] Comey, but ultimately struck an agreement with the DNC that a ‘highly respected private company’ would get access and share what it found with investigators.
“We’d always prefer to have access hands-on ourselves if that’s possible,” Comey said, noting that he didn’t know why the DNC rebuffed the FBI’s request.”(32) “ Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told the House Intelligence Committee on June 21, 2017 that he offered the assistance of the Department of Homeland Security in helping the DNC identify intruders and patch vulnerabilities.(33) Former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz told the same Committee that no government agency had contacted her about the Russian hack into the organization’s network, a fact that she says astounded her.(34) This is indeed an astounding revelation that points to either abject incompetence or to something more sinister – namely that the FBI under James Comey was not interested in finding the truth. Unfortunately this will be a pattern that emerges as this paper proceeds – stonewalling requests for information, withholding evidence, perjury, missing deadlines, failing to show up for hearings, et al.
Guccifer 2.0 On June 15, 2016 an individual going by the handle Guccifer 2.0 claimed credit for hacking the DNC network.(35) CrowdStrike states that the malware was discovered on June 14th(36). Guccifer 2.0 told the media he / she is Romanian (37) that he / she had given “thousands of files and mails” to WikiLeaks.(38) The DNC server was violated again on July 5, 2016, an act for which Guccifer 2.0 again claimed responsibility.(39)
At this point four separate breaches have been mentioned. Much reporting on the subject conflates the events making it difficult to understand and resulting in the spread of misinformation. It is important to identify which breach is being discussed: •September 2015 Cozy Bear Hacks DNC •March 19, 2016 DNC data compromised •June 14, 2016 Guccifer 2.0 breach #1 •July 5, 2016 Guccifer 2.0 breach #2
Many have assumed that Guccifer 2.0 is the same entity that breached the DNC and Podesta emails in March of 2016, but there is not sufficient evidence to support accepting such as a settled fact. This is an important detail as many discussions on the subject take this ‘fact’ for granted while again conflating subsequent and separate happenings.
Wikileaks’ Julian Assange has never confirmed that Guccifer 2.0 was his source for the DNC and John Podesta’s emails but he has repeatedly stated on record that he did not obtain the information / emails from the Russian government or a Russian state party.(40) In fact just days ago, on April 19, 2018, California Representative Dana Rohrabacher told Breitbart radio that Assange has physical proof that his source was not the Russians.(41) Rep. Rohrabacher flew to London in August 2017 to meet with the Wikileaks founder and during the visit Assange reportedly made the revelation.(42)
The DNC server was indeed breached on July 5, 2016, the date Guccifer 2.0 claims to have successfully hacked DNC networks a second time (the first being June 14, 2016). On June 10, 2016 the Forensicator published meta-analysis of data from the July 5 Guccifer 2.0 breach.(43) It is not entirely clear who the Forensicator is other than a blogger who obtained data from the July 5 intrusion. The authenticity of the data do not seem to be in doubt.
Since the initial report came out additional clarifications and analyses have been provided and the findings are indeed very interesting. Firstly the analysis indicates that the data were transferred at an average rate of 23 MB/s (MegaBytes per second)(44) with peak speeds of 38 MB/2.(45) The report states that “due to the estimated speed of transfer (23 MB/s) calculated in this study, it is unlikely that this initial data transfer could have been done remotely over the Internet.”(46) Why is it unlikely? Because the transfer speed is too fast.(47) This statement has proved controversial and requires qualification.
First, a hack and a leak are not the same thing and a distinction must be made between the two:
Leak: When someone physically takes data out of an organization and gives it to some other person or organization, as Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning did.
Hack: When someone in a remote location electronically penetrates operating systems, firewalls or any other cyber-protection system and then extracts data.(48)
Second, Guccifer 2.0 claims to be Romanian but is alleged to be a Russian hacker. In a hacking scenario Guccifer 2.0 would have likely “used a Russian-aligned VPN service to mask his IP address.”(49)
A group of former U.S. intelligence officers known as Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS hereafter) were able to forensically study the same Forensicator data (from the July 5th breach). The Intelligence Professionals included William Binney, former National Security Agency Technical Director for World Geopolitical & Military Analysis and Co-founder of the NSA’s Signals Intelligence Automation Research Center. Katrina vanden Heuvel, Editor and Publisher of The Nation weekly magazine notes that VIPS “produced some of the most credible – and critical – analyses of Bush administration’s mishandling of intelligence data in the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.”(50) The VIPS team attempted to replicate the transfer speed by sending information from a datacenter in New Jersey to a datacenter in the UK and 12 mbps was the highest transfer rate achieved.(51) VIPS conducted similar test with datacenters farther east in Europe and geographically closer to Romania and Russia and, as one might expect, transfer rates only slowed down as distances increased.(52) It was later learned that while the transfer rate averaged 23 MB/s it reached peak speeds of 38 MB/s, “raising the bar” in terms of the transfer speed that would have had to have been achieved.(53)
To be clear, the Forensicator stated that it was unlikely that the data could have been transferred over the internet that fast while William Benney took it quite a bit farther saying that it was not “physically possible with a hack”(54) and that he is “99 percent” sure that the DNC was not hacked from the outside via the internet.(55) Both the Forensicator and Benney agree that it is far more probable that the files were copied locally – on site – using a USB-2 storage device (or similar).(56) They differ on degree of certainty.(57)
Critics have claimed that it would have been possible in July of 2016 to achieve such internet speeds – remember what is important what was possible at that point in time. Around that time Google fiber optic service was being installed on the East Coast which could have possibly facilitated such speeds.(58) Others have suggested that someone could have taken over a commercial server.(59) As Benney points out the 38 MB/s rate was just data so the actual transfer speed would have needed to be much higher.(60) Why? Because when sending that data over a network there is additional ‘housekeeping’ data going along with the source information so that the original data can be monitored, traced and reassembled on the receiving end.(61) The Forensicator states that the average speed of 23 MB/s is “in line with local copy operations” and “in close agreement” with the range of 24 to 28 MB/s consistent with transfer to a USB-2 storage device.(62) While it is possible that the July 5, 2016 breach involved a hack the evidence shows that a leak from inside is a far more probable scenario. In any event, if a hack did occur it did not take place from Romania or Russia. The hacking scenarios suggested above are in theory possible but require close proximity to the network that stored the data. Here an appeal to Occam’s razor seems appropriate – the simplest answer is usually the best answer.
The possibility of a hack based in Russia or Romania has been eliminated but this does not mean that a Russian or a Romanian individual did not perpetrate the breach in question. Even if the perpetrator was Russian or Romanian this does not imply that the respective government was in any way involved. While a leak seems more tenable, it is possible that a Russian (or Romanian) hacked the DNC in close proximity without actually being on the server itself. The Forensicator and VIPS both concluded that copying activity was done on a system using Eastern Daylight Time settings and likely somewhere on the East Coast.(63) In a hacking scenario a mal actor could have acquired the data directly off a high speed Local Area Network (LAN) that itself had access to the DNC server.(64) But William Benney told Breitbart’s Aaron Klein that a Network Manager, monitoring the network log, would have picked up such activity.(65) To this author’s knowledge documentation that such activity was detected not been provided.
Mr. Benney, one of the architects of the NSA surveillance program and a high level whistleblower before Edward Snowden, states categorically that any hacking activity would have been detected by the NSA. The December 12, 2016 VIPS Memo US Intel Vets Dispute Russia Hacking Claims asserts that:
NSA is able to identify both the sender and recipient when hacking is involved. Thanks largely to the material released by Edward Snowden, we can provide a full picture of NSA’s extensive domestic data-collection network including Upstream programs like Fairview, Stormbrew and Blarney. These include at least 30 companies in the U.S. operating the fiber networks that carry the Public Switched Telephone Network as well as the World Wide Web. This gives NSA unparalleled access to data flowing within the U.S. and data going out to the rest of the world, as well as data transiting the U.S.
…The bottom line is that the NSA would know where and how any “hacked” emails from the DNC, HRC or any other servers were routed through the network.(66) “ Mr. Benney calls for the NSA to provide the data they have to help shed light on what really happened.(67) Is the NSA protecting sensitive sources and methods? Or is the reason they have not provided any evidence because such evidence does not exist? This is a reasonable and fair question to ask.
Additional questions are appropriate. Is Guccifer 2.0 lying about having compromised the DNC server? Or lying about the methodology employed (hack vs. leak)? Surely someone capable of breaching the DNC network knows the difference. Guccifer 2.0 has been the source of genuine leaked documents including a dossier on Democratic Congressman Ben Ray Lujan.(68) However, on September 13, 2016 Guccifer 2.0 released documents which the ‘hacker’ claimed had been taken from the Clinton Foundation. The documents turned out to be from previous leaks and already available public domain documents.(69) Writing for Artvoice Frank Parlato notes “Ultimately, Guccifer 2.0 never produced anything from the Clinton Foundation verifying a hack, neither has the Clinton Foundation admitted to being hacked.”(70) The information released by Guccifer 2.0 on Congressman Lujan proved to be politically harmless.(71)
Forensic cyber analysis also show that the June 14, 2016 intrusion (not the July 5, 2016 intrusion) had faux Russian fingerprints inserted.(72) John McAfee, former NASA employee and creator of McAfee, the first commercial antivirus software, told RT America in January of 2017 that four facts were were given by the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI as evidence that Russia perpetrated the June 14 breach of the DNC server. The four facts were •Russian language found in the malware •use of a cyrillic keyboard •a compiler timestamp from the Moscow / St. Petersburg timezone •a Russian IP address.(73)
This is odd because a competent cybercriminal knows how to cover his tracks in order to evade detection. The prevailing narrative is that Guccifer 2.0, or whoever the bad actor was, made mistakes and left behind clues that point back to the Russian government. For example on July 6, 2017 The Washington Post noted “the accidental inclusion of Russian-language metadata in some of the leaked files, as well as some error messages that were printed in Russian.”(74) Steve McIntyre of ClimateAudit.org provides the following assessment:
“…that exposure by mistake is being relied on for attribution of Guccifer 2 to Russian intelligence services…is worthless as evidence and an embarrassment to the security firms and intel community who promulgate it.”(75) “ Yes a hacker (not a leaker) will leave a trail but it will be a false trail, meaning that wherever the trail leads will be ruled out as the point of origin. The claim that Guccifer 2.0 ‘messed up’ and allowed investigators to single out Russia is simply not plausible according to those with the technical knowledge necessary to assess.
In fact, “the recent Wikileaks Vault 7 release…demonstrates how CIA hacking tactics and code – which have long…been leaked outside the intelligence community – can misdirect forensic investigators as to the origin of viruses, trojans and hacking attacks.”(76) As one example, “Marble [framework] is used to hamper forensic investigators and anti-virus companies from attributing viruses, trojans and hacking attacks to the CIA.”(77) So there are programs specifically for the purpose of misdirecting the source of a hack and yet the American public is supposed to believe Guccifer 2.0 just slipped up and left behind a trail of breadcrumbs leading to the front door of Moscow?
Note that the June 14 event is allegedly a hack. The July 5 event has been shown to be a likely leak, meaning a faux trail would not have been left behind. For example, in a copying scenario “there is no inherent reason to set the time zone.”(78)
It is also worth noting that the program used on June 14, 2016 was over a year and a half old at the time that it was deployed – prehistoric in the Cyber Security world.(79) John McAfee asks why we should believe that the Russian government would be using such out of date software.(80) He suspects that the hack was an independent kid who downloaded the malware from the dark web and that the breach was not an organized nation state hack.(81) Mcafee also asserts that it is false to automatically attribute APT28 and APT29 (Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear) exclusively to Russia as people from all over the world use the programs.(82)
Language Analysis shows that Guciffer 2.0 speaks English very well as evidenced by correct use of definite and indefinite articles, prepositions, and verb conjugations(83) – finer points of English grammar that often trouble non-native speakers.
Seth Rich Seth Rich was a DNC data programmer who was fatally shot in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Washington, D.C. on July 10, 2016.(84) Rich’s father said soon afterward that it appeared to be a botched robbery and that his wallet, cell phone, keys, watch and necklace worth about $2,000 were still on his person when he was found.(85) Rich had bruises on his face, hands, knees and body as well as a torn watch band, indicating that there was a struggle.(86) Rich was shot twice in the back(87) but his brother Aaron stated that he was told by emergency responders that he was “very aware” and “very talkative” and that “they were very surprised he didn’t make it.”(88)
The Bloomingdale neighborhood is a rough area and at the time Rich died there had been 8-10 recent armed robberies usually with somebody brandishing a gun.(89)
Julian Assange has very strongly implied that Seth Rich was the source DNC / John Podesta emails which were released on July 22nd, 2016.(90)
On July 22, just 12 days after Rich was killed, WikiLeaks published internal DNC emails that appeared to show top party officials conspired to stop Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont from becoming the party’s presidential nominee. That controversy resulted in Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigning as DNC chairperson.(91) “ Assange told a Dutch news program:
“Whistleblowers go to significant efforts to get us material and often very significant risks. As a 27-year-old, works for the DNC, was shot in the back, murdered just a few weeks ago for unknown reasons as he was walking down the street in Washington,”
Interviewer Eelci van Rosenthal interrupts: “That was just a robbery, I believe. Wasn’t it?”
Assange: “No, there’s no finding…”
Interviewer: What are you suggesting? What are you suggesting?
Assange: I’m suggesting that our sources take risks and they become concerned to see things occuring like that.”
Interviewer: “Was he one of your sources then? I mean…”
Assange: “We don’t comment on who our sources are.”
Interviewer interrupts: “Why make the suggestion about a young guy being shot in the streets of Washington?”
Assange: “Because we have to understand how high the stakes are in the United States… Our sources face serious risks. That’s why they come to us. So we can protect their anonymity.”
Interviewer: That’s quite something to suggest a murder, that’s basically what you’re doing.”
Assange: Well others have suggested that. We are investigating to understand what happened in that situation with Seth Rich. I think it is a concerning situation. There isn’t a conclusion yet, we wouldn’t be willing to say a conclusion but we are concerned about it. And more importantly a variety of WikiLeaks sources are concerned when that kind of thing happens.”(92) “ WikiLeaks has offered a $20,000 reward for information regarding the. murder of Seth Rich.(93) Julian Assange also retweeted a May 15, 2017 story claiming that slain DNC staffer (Rich) leaked emails to WikiLeaks.(94)
Dallas wealth fund manager Ed Butowsky(95) got in touch with the Rich family after a friend returned from London with information on the case.(96) Butowsky had not previously known the family and had no prior interest in the case but through a stroke of luck was able to connect with the family.(97) Butowsky did a face to face interview with Gateway Pundit journalist Cassandra Fairbanks in March of 2018. Butowsky told Fairbanks:
“I got them on the phone and I shared with them the information that this man had wanted them to know. What I told them was that I was told that your sons downloaded the emails from the DNC server and sold them to WikiLeaks.”(98) “ Notice that Mr. Butowsky said sons, as in Seth and Aaron. Butowsky states that Mr. Rich replied by saying that they already knew and that the information was not new.(99)
Aaron Rich works in cyber security for the large defense contractor Northrup Grumman.(100)
Butowsky told The Gateway Pundit “that an FBI source showed him a receipt for a $56 hard drive that he says Rich used to transport files from the DNC server to his laptop before loading them into a DropBox account.”(101) This is a stunning claim but there is more. The Cassandra Fairbanks article / interview continues:
A few days after his initial phone call with the Rich family, Butowsky says that he was speaking to a friend from DC and asked if he may know anyone familiar with the Rich case. The friend told him that he did know someone with extensive knowledge about the murder — Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh.
Two days later, Butowsky and Hersh were on the phone discussing the case. Butowsky explained that Hersh was speaking so quickly that he recorded the call because he could not take notes fast enough.(102) “ During the session Hersh revealed: •that he had an FBI source on the inside who was very reliable •an FBI report revealed that Seth Rich had contacted WikiLeaks in late Spring (2016) •Rich had submitted a sample of the documents he possessed to WikiLeaks and had asked for money •the DNC was not hacked •The DNC-Podesta emails / files don’t go beyond May 21st-22nd 2016 •Rich shared the DropBox with a couple of friends, saying that ‘if anything happens to me it’s not going to solve your problems’ •WikiLeaks got access to a password protected dropbox before Rich was killed(103)
WikiLeaks retweeted the audio that is the source of the above information.
Audio tape of Seymour Hersh discussing WikiLeaks DNC leaks and Seth Rich https://t.co/STp9u7Vtbn h/t @CassandraRules
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) August 1, 2017 “ Wikileaks doesn’t comment on sources but Julian Assange has literally done everything but say, “Seth Rich is the source.” It is also noteworthy that the content of the DNC-Podesta files does not go beyond May 22, 2016, well before both alleged Guccifer 2.0 breaches occurred.
Returning to the Fairbanks article,
At some point after the investigation began, the DNC hired Brad Bauman to represent the family. He is a well-known crisis communications consultant for the Democratic Party through his DC firm the Pastorum Group.
“I remember Mr. Rich saying ‘who is this guy? He showed up one day and said he was assigned to me by the DNC.’ Why would the DNC assign somebody,” Butowsky said of a conversation regarding Bauman.(104)(emphasis added) “ Craig Murray, former British ambassador to Uzbekistan and associate of Julian Assange, told the Dailymail.com he flew to Washington, D.C..(105) Murray made other provocative claims: •He claims he had a clandestine hand-off in a wooded area near American University with one of the email sources •Murray says: ‘The source had legal access to the information. •The documents came from inside leaks, not hacks •Regardless of whether the Russians hacked into the DNC, the documents Wikileaks published did not come from that,’ Murray insists •The leakers’ motivation was ‘disgust at the corruption of the Clinton Foundation and the ’tilting of the primary election playing field against Bernie Sanders'(106)
This alleged exchange took place in September 2016(107), after Wikileaks had already published the DNC-Podesta files but could this be the physical proof alluded to by California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher?
FoxNews reporter Malia Zimmerman published a story on May 16, 2017 stating that Rich had had contact with WIkiLeaks, citing two separate sources – an unnamed federal investigator who reviewed an FBI forensic report detailing the contents of Seth Rich’s computer and former DC Homicide Investigator Rod Wheeler.(108)
Zimmerman reported that the FBI report was generated within 96 hours of the Rich murder and stated that “Rich made contact with WikiLeaks through Gavin MacFadyen, a now-deceased American investigative reporter, documentary filmmaker, and director of WikiLeaks who was living in London at the time.”(109)
The report also stated,
Police also have refused to release security footage from a market on the corner of the crosswalk where Rich was killed. The footage, sources told Fox News, shows two people following Rich across the tiny crosswalk just moments before he was attacked. The camera captured grainy footage of the assailants’ legs and Rich as he fell backwards into the street after being shot.
Wheeler said normally police would release the footage to the media.(110) “ Wheeler also told Fox 5 DC that he was running a parallel / independent investigation for the Rich Family.(111) Wheeler stated that neither the D.C. MPD nor the FBI had been forthcoming and that they hadn’t been cooperating.(112)
I believe that the answer to solving his death lies on that computer, which I believe is either at the police department or either at the FBI. I have been told both.”
When we asked Wheeler if his sources have told him there is information that links Rich to Wikileaks, he said, “Absolutely. Yeah. That’s confirmed.”
Wheeler also told us, “I have a source inside the police department that has looked at me straight in the eye and said, ‘Rod, we were told to stand down on this case and I can’t share any information with you.’ Now, that is highly unusual for a murder investigation, especially from a police department. Again, I don’t think it comes from the chief’s office, but I do believe there is a correlation between the mayor’s office and the DNC and that is the information that will come out.”(113) “ The introduction of the Zimmerman story and Wheeler’s information is controversial and complicating to the point that this author debated whether or not to included this part of the story. The aforementioned Ed Butowsky, the Dallas money manager who reached out to the Rich Family, is the one who put Wheeler in touch with the Rich family.(114)
“They said they didn’t feel they were getting any answers,” Butowsky said. “The investigation wasn’t going anywhere. I said, ‘Why don’t you hire a private detective?’ They said they didn’t have any money.”
Butowsky said he offered to pay for a private investigator, and called Wheeler. There, he said, his involvement ended. “They negotiated something,” Butowsky said. “In their contract it said any money Rod is going to bill, Butowsky is going to pay. But Rod Wheeler has never billed me a penny. Nobody has ever paid anybody anything.”(115) “ Butowsky told the Gateway Pundit later that he gave Wheeler $5,000 up front.(116)
Rich Family Spokesman Brad Bauman – the DNC funded crisis communications consultant – put out a statement saying, “The services of the private investigator who spoke to press was offered to the Rich family and paid for by a third party, and contractually was barred from speaking to press or anyone outside of law enforcement or the family unless explicitly authorized by the family.”(117) The Rich Family lawyers sued Butowsky, Zimmerman and FoxNews.(118)
In a strange twist Wheeler went on CNN and claimed that FoxNews had misquoted him.(119) Wheeler’s statement led to the retraction of the Zimmerman story quoted in this work, which is why the URL cited is from a web archive.(120) Butowsky states that Wheeler read Zimmerman’s article and falsely assumed that a quote that was attributed to another federal investigator was attributed to him.(121) Butowsky even states that Wheeler admitted on the phone that he had messed up:
…he told me this on the phone, he said ‘Ed, I blew it. I thought that was referencing me.’ He thought that quote was attributed to him,” Butowsky told GWP. “He had gone on CNN and said ‘Fox misquoted me!’ Fox didn’t misquote him, he just read it wrong. He thought he was the federal investigator she was referencing, he screwed up!”(122) “ Nonetheless, Wheeler was later joined a class action lawsuit against FoxNews and Butowsky.(123) Quoting the Gateway Pundit article / interview one more time:
Butowsky claims that [Lawyer Doug] Wigdor threatened the network with a lawsuit for weeks before filing, unless Fox News agreed to pay $60 million in settlements. The looming lawsuits were preventing the network’s buyout of Sky News, which he believes was part of the reasoning for going after them.
Butowsky alleges that Wheeler was promised $4 million of that money if a settlement was reached.
“He said, ‘Ed, I found me a lawyer that’s going to give me $4 million,’” Butowsky stated. “I said ‘what?! Why would anyone give you $4 million?’ I mean, what in the world.” He claimed that Wheeler told him that he wasn’t going to like it, but that he would soon understand. Weeks later, Butowsky received an email from Wigdor. The lawsuit came soon after.(124) “ If what Butowsky is saying is correct, one has to ask, was a deal made with Wheeler? Perhaps something along these lines? If you’ll throw a wrench in this Seth Rich thing and be quiet we’ll make you a plaintiff in this lawsuit…how does $4 million dollars sound?
Therefore it is the author’s judgement that the Zimmerman article is likely accurate and that Wheeler’s initial statements can be taken at face value.
Timeline of Events ?September 2015 – ‘Russian’ malware is used to hack DNC. FBI & DNC fail to act because it wasn’t an uncommon event. In the words of the VIPS Memo “Everyone knows that everyone hacks,” says everyone.(125) This insignificant hack becomes the basis for the faux Russia Collusion narrative ?Sometime in the Spring of 2016 a DNC insider, probably Seth Rich, copies DNC-Podesta files onto a hard drive and later uploads the contents onto a password protected Dropbox
•May 22, 2016 End of DNC-Podest email content ?June 12, 2016 Assange announces WikiLeaks is about to publish “emails related to Hillary Clinton.”(126) ?June 14, 2016: DNC hired Crowdstrike announces that malware has been found on the DNC server, claims evidence it was put there by Russians ?June 15, 2016 Guccifer 2.0 claims responsibility for the “hack;” claims to be WikiLeaks source; and posts a document that the forensics show was synthetically tainted with “Russian fingerprints.” ?July 5, 2016 Second Guccifer 2.0 breach occurs, forensics show the event was most likely a local copy operation and not a hack ?July 10, 2016 Seth Rich killed ?July 22, 2016 WikiLeaks releases DNC-Podesta emails / files
•July 24, 2016 Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigns as DNC Chair •July 25-28 2016 Democratic National Convention
Based on the above timeline, one has to ask where Guccifer 2.0 fits into all of this. It sure looks as if Guccifer 2.0 was deployed to control the narrative. Much time and energy was diverted into talking about where the information came from rather than the actual information itself. And of course the suggestion of Russia had many people looking in the wrong place.
The DNC has not made available its server to the FBI for independent analysis. The DNC and the media propagate the theory that Guccifer 2.0 is the Russian hacker who breached the DNC network and transferred the content to Wikileaks for publication, but there is very little evidence to support these claims. In fact much evidence contradicts them. The intelligence agencies say proof exists but they have not provided anything substantive and are essentially saying trust us on this one. The NSA in particular should have any data related to a DNC hack.
Until actual evidence is produced to support these unfounded claims they are to be rejected as politically motivated fake news. Unfortunately this is only half of the story. Part II will show how the Russia Collusion narrative was used as a pretext to spy on a U.S. Presidential candidate and his campaign and to appoint an illegitimate Special Counsel that was / is being used to undermine and even overthrow a duly elected President. This is an amazing claim but this author believes the investigators need to themselves be investigated."
I still stand behind the theory that the Seth Rich murder was a hit... its been done before for political gain and cover up, it happens all the time for money ... the mob does/did them all the time, as do drug gangs .... when it comes to politics, Clintons and billions of dollars, any one that stands in the way is a target ..... same for stand downs and cover ups, done all the time for political gain and the almighty dollar .....